Warhammer Invasion is one of my top favorite games of all time. Over the past 2 years I have posted a lot in the Organized Play and Community forums looking for new players and have noticed one constant in all my posts, there is never a response. The sad truth is if you are not in Poland you likely don't have a regular play group of more than 2 or 3 people. Something I figured out within the first couple months of looking for players was if I wanted people to play against, I was going to have to teach them.
In this thread I would like to share some advice based on what I have learned starting a play group. Our group is small in comparison to many in Europe, but still one of the largest in the US.
If you've been looking for a play group and there isn't one in your area, then you are going to have to start it. Below the top 10 most important things I have found in creating one. A lot of it is common sense, but I still thought it was worth sharing:
Set up a consistent meeting place and time: Having a consistent place makes it easy for people to remember where to find you and more likely to show up. We chose fridays and found this to be a great night because the shop is open later and has a lot of traffic, both increasing the likelihood of finding new players.
Have a sign: I mounted one of the posters in a league kit to a piece of foam core and applied an easel back to it. It was a little awkward to at first to carry into the store with me, but having a sign next to us let people know we were playing a game other than Magic and made it easier for new people that heard about us on the web to find us.
Have decks ready to play: I always have an orc rush deck on hand to teach someone new the mechanics. This is a very easy deck to play with no quests, legends, doesn't require any developments, and has low loyalty. Playing this allows them to focus on learning the phases and reduces aspects of the game that can sometimes confuse new players. I will also have a couple of other fun decks ready incase we have more than one new person. A lot people will show up 2 or 3 times before buying cards so more than likely you will be playing with your own decks for a while.
Start a meetup site (http://www.meetup.com/): This step was the game changer. It was really hard taking that first step and paying for the first 6 months and honestly if they hadn't had the 50% special at the time I'm not sure I would have done it, but I'm glad I did now. Having a meetup site allows you to post all your events in an easily accessible place. It also gives you a place to link back to when you post in forums, giving potential new players a place find you. A meetup site provides a place for local players to congregate and an easy way to remind them of when the next event is. Don't let the money scare you away, since that first month our group has been totally paid for by contributions from the members.
Search Boardgamegeek users (http://www.boardgame...map/user/search): Boardgamegeek.com has a great tool that allows you to search for members in your area. I did a search within a 20 mile radius of our local shop a checked each members geek list to see if they owned the core set. If they did, I sent them a geek mail telling them about the our meetup group (with a link) and asked them if them played. From this our group gained 2 or 3 members in the very beginning which was a huge boost!
Find local forums: Ultimately your goal is to find local people that play the game or might be interested. You will get much better returns on finding new people on gaming forums in your local area than any Warhammer Invasion specific forum.
Make your post meaningful: Ensure your posts contain the following information: time, place, cost, and a way to rsvp. Also provide links in the post to make it easy for them to find out how to get there and RSVP.
Take lots of photos: Here are 3 benefits you get from photos on a meetup site:
1) It shows your group is active and groups that look active get more members.
2) You can tag members in the photos giving you an easy place to reference so you can remember people's names
3) When a member is tagged in a photo meetup sends the person an email with a link to let them know, driving them back to the site to see.
Buy all Warhammer Cards from a local shop: When you buy them at a local shop they will carry the cards in the store granting more exposure for the game and providing an excellent way to demonstrate how the game is packaged.
- Make sure the people you teach have a good time: Whether they feel the game is fun or not is ultimately what is going to make them decide to play or not. When playing someone new tot he game I give them basic instructions on how the deck plays and some general advice on best practices within the game as a whole, but never play their hand for them. Also if I have some surprise card like Bladesinger I let them know ahead of time to ensure the don't have a negative play experience. I find it's best to let people win the first game as well, but try to make it close when I can.
Below I have attached some tools to help anyone that wants to start a Warhammer Invasion Meetup create a WHI theme very easily, click on any of the images to see the full sized image:
Hope this helps anyone struggling to find people to play with!